Everyone asks us how Seoulz ranks so high for so many keywords related to Korea’s startup ecosystem. Google at the moment has not penetrated Korea like they have the rest of the world. There is only a small number of countries where Google is not the #1 search engine. China is one, Russia is one, and surprisingly South Korea is one. Naver is the dominant search engine in Korea and most around the world have never heard of Naver. However, many companies in Korea only focus on Naver and don’t give any time to Google. In whatever industry you are in, you won’t have a lot of competition from other startups/companies in Korea in regard to Google SEO. For them, it is just not a priority or they don’t know what to do.

Google has been gaining ground in Korea and if you don’t start focusing on organic growth through Google SEO now, it will be harder later down the line. These 5 easy SEO Hacks for startups are going to help you get started.

We at Seoulz have provided 5 easy tips that should be a great first start in giving you a considerable boost in your SEO. 

5 Easy Google SEO Hack for Startups in Korea

SEO Hack #1 – Be Mobile Friendly

SEO Hacks for Korean startups

First, enter your website via the mobile-friendly test. Did you pass? If not that is the first thing you should work on. In 2019, Google stated that they will prioritize mobile over desktop for search rankings. Data shows that over 50% of all traffic comes from mobile devices. So no matter how great your website is on desktop, Google’s focus is on how it behaves on mobile. You can further optimize for mobile using PageSpeed Insights but you will need a developer to fix some of the issues it finds.

So what exactly is a mobile-friendly website? Basically, it means your site is correctly displayed on mobile & hand-held devices such as smartphones, iPads, and tablets. Your website needs to be able to respond to each of these devices no matter the screen size. If it doesn’t it will negatively impact your overall SEO since mobile-friendly websites will be valued higher than a desktop website designed just for desktop monitors. Koreans are accustomed to accessing the internet via their smartphones whether it is to search or purchase items. Therefore, ensure your site’s responsiveness meets their expectations.

#2 Get Secure HTTP (HTTPS)

SEO hacks for StartupsHTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the protocol that is used for viewing web pages. Most websites start with HTTP. However, with HTTP all the information sent via the internet from your computer to your web server is sent in cleartext. This makes it vulnerable to hackers. As long as your site doesn’t transfer sensitive data like credit card information. If you have sensitive information you need to use HTTPS (Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol). It encrypts all the data that is being transferred over the internet. You will notice a lock next to your site name. 

The protocol used to ensure security on the internet is called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). An SSL certificate is used to authenticate the identity of a website. For a boost in SEO get HTTPS even if you are not sending or receiving sensitive information. The reason is that a few years ago Google started to flag websites as “not secure” if they did not have SSL protection. If this happens Google will penalize your website in their search rankings. 

SEO Hack for Startups #3 Keep posts between 1,500 – 5,000 Words

I know what you are thinking. 1,500 words? Are you serious? Seoulz averages around 1,500 words per article. Through a whole year of SEO research, this is the range that is best suited to rank high on Google. We noticed a drop in the rankings once we passed the 5,000 marks. The competition is so fierce that 1,500 should be the minimum. Now, this depends on the competitiveness of the keyword. If you are targeting a less competitive keyword then you don’t need 1,500 words, even 500 would do. The harder the keyword difficulty the longer the post should be.

Now I realize that writing even 1,500 words will be difficult. Therefore just start out at 1,000 to start and after 5 months using the strategy above, you should have it to 1,500 words (100 words a month). This is why many of the articles on Seoulz are lists or rankings. It is much easier to write content when you are covering 10 companies compared to 1. If you offer services, a list of how companies can benefit from said services would work. When you need to optimize go back and see what new ideas or information you can add to a company or service. 

#4 Narrow Your Keyword Target 

SEO hacks for StartupsIf you are a business in Korea. It might take you a long time to rank for keyword phrases ending in “in Korea”. Instead, focus on a narrower keyword phrase that ends in “in Seoul.” Better yet go narrower and try “in Gangnam.” Start off ranking for these keywords first and then try and branch out later. It will make it a lot easier for you. A keyword like “Best Plastic Surgery Clinic in Gangnam” will take you half the time it would for “Best Plastic Surgery Clinic in Seoul”. Another example could be for services. Instead of tax services in Gangnam, try payroll tax services in Gangnam. Once you dominate this space, you should then move to Seoul and later to Korea. Start small and widen your reach as you gain more authority from Google. 

Remember User Search Intent

When thinking about what keyword phrase to target, always remember user search intent. Basically, ask yourself WHY is someone typing this into Google. If you know the “WHY” you will be able to create the right content for the search. Google is constantly looking to find the best content to provide its users with the most relevant result for a particular search. People go on Google mainly for three reasons.

Reason #1 – To find information

Most go on Google to find information. Some ask questions on Google such as how, why, who, etc. However, most just type the keyword expecting to find information about that particular topic. Or they might want to know more about a particular website. They know the site’s name or some detail about the site but would like to know their URL. It is a lot faster to type a company’s name into Google than type it all out on the address bar.

Reason #2 – Want to buy something

The second reason people use Google is to buy something. This is why advertising on Google is such a big business. These searchers are looking to make a purchase. In most cases, they already know what they want to buy but don’t know where to buy it online.

Reason #3 – Reviews and Comparisons

Searchers want to find product or service reviews before they make a purchase. Google is used to find out more information about a product or service. Most click on lists, reviews, or comparisons. This is why the word “Best” and “Top” is used a lot in many articles and blog posts.

SEO Hacks for Startups #5 – Write your own Blog

In order to target potential searchers looking for reviews on a product, you need to have a blog post about your product or service. There is a reason why wikiHow ranks so well. People are constantly using Google to find a certain solution to a problem. Whatever product or service you are selling in Korea, you need to have at least one kind of manual. For example, Seoulz has written many articles on how to rank #1 on Google. But startups can create a manual in their industry. If you are in the eCommerce industry, a manual on how to sell to Korean consumers would be perfect. Or how to create an eCommerce site on Shopify.

Are you selling a new innovative SaaS product? You must have an easy-to-understand manual. Maybe a step-by-step guide to moving on-premise databases to the cloud. Always remember to add screenshots or helpful pictures. This will help with the click-through rate on that SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Our manual on “How to be a K-Pop Star” brings in over 20,000 views a month by itself and led Seoulz to launch our sister site SEOULSPACE which covers Korean culture. 

You want to be the leader in your industry. Therefore target all the keywords a customer might have issues with. Then try to answer each and every single question by creating a step-by-step manual they can reference. The more you write the more authority you will gain. Say you are a Cloud service in Korea. Target all the issues a startup might face when trying to migrate to the cloud. Sure there will be a lot of competition and you will not rank high at all in the beginning. But SEO is for the long term. Writing this content is easy, it just takes time.


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